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CJ Maraga’s advisory a wake-up call to legislators

By Editorial Team
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
Chief Justice David Maraga. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI
In summary

The unprecedented advisory handed by Chief Justice David Maraga to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for its failure to enact a law that would govern implementation of the two thirds gender rule as stipulated in the Constitution has rattled members of the Legislature.

That was roundly expected. What was, however,  not expected was its underlying ramifications on the country’s socio-economic and geo-political landscape, and the potential constitutional crisis the decision would elicit.

Aggrieved, but summarily shaken, MPs, through the Parliamentary Service Commission chaired by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, have announced they would seek court intervention on a verdict they claim was undertaken unconstitutionally, prematurely and ill-timed. 

We choose not to give our views on the merits and demerits of Maraga’s historic move as it waits to be ventilated in the courts and given sound interpretation.

However, we know that what Maraga has done is not music to the ears of parliamentarians.

It has to be appreciated though that his action is constitutionally provided for.

And that is why we elect not to demonise him. It’s also true that the move will give fillip to other hitherto unforeseen less-than-comfortable consequences on other sections of society outside the august House. 

Truth of the matter is Parliament is the sole culprit in this mess. MPs have never taken the matter of two thirds gender rule seriously.

Yet it is the same MPs who should have legislated the law through which the clause on gender parity would have been implemented.

Indeed the issue has been on the floor of the House four times and on all those occasions, it has not sailed through.

It is imperative for MPs to remember they are the genesis of the uncertainty the country finds itself in.

Had they executed their mandate in time we would not be debating the gender issue. Indeed, it is Parliament which has let Kenyans down, not the courts.

Our hope is that a harmonising and unifying solution would be found soon, one that moves the country forward.

Meanwhile, as we wait for that outcome we choose to ask our lawmakers to take Maraga’s shock announcement as a wake-up call on their responsibilities and resolve to work.

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